Our Two-toed Sloths

The Two-toed Sloth inhabits parts of both Central and South America.  They have two toes on their arms and three on their legs.  Sloths are very slow moving animals, with a top speed of about 0.93 mph, but that’s an all out sprint so you’ll never see them do it.  Typically they cruise around at about 0.19 mph.  

On top of being slow movers, these guys have the slowest digestive system out of any mammal.  It takes multiple weeks for something to go through their system, so they only have to poop once a week.  When they do poop it is a tall task.  They go down to the bottom of their favorite tree, dig a little hole with their tail, poop, and then cover it with leaves.  It is a very courteous trip to the bathroom but it is also a very dangerous dangerous trip to the bathroom. Because they’re out in the open and moving around a lot, over 50% of sloth deaths occur while they’re pooping!

Sloths are very good at hanging upside-down, but not the best at anything else. If you look at the fur it’s going to grow in the direction of their gravity instead of ours! They also got rid of most of the muscle mass in their arms and legs for extending and pushing off of things which makes them lighter and more efficient at grabbing and pulling. That means these guys can hang for an almost endless amount of time, which is really good because that’s all they ever do!

Although listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, their habitat is being threatened by human encroachment, so it’s very important that we keep a close eye on them.  Sloth breeding has been relatively unsuccessful in captivity, so having a breeding pair here at WCC is just that more exciting!

Pictured Above: Julia (Mom), Sid (Son), NEW BABY!